Unnatural Death: Confessions of a Medical Examiner Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Michael Baden
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What disease does Humes purposefully leave out of the notes of the autopsy?

2. What is livor mortis?

3. What is Baden's rebuttal to Ferrer's accusation that he had hired four people without authorization?

4. What does Baden blame for the increase in mercury scare dsuring his time as ME?

5. What does Baden note is the desire of the DAs office in terms of the ME?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe why Baden believes the dead woman at the fund raiser and the dead baby in the impoverished apartment represent the inequalities of life.

2. Describe why there was controversy surrounding the death of Elvis.

3. Describe the symptoms of strangulation, as seen during autopsy.

4. List the three tests used to determine how long someone has been dead, and mention what they are.

5. In the end of Chapter One, the report given to the FBI suggests two shooters. Explain the event that prompted the committee to suggest this.

6. Discuss the symptoms of strychnine.

7. Describe the People vs. Levine case. What was the case, and why did Baden fail to do as he was asked by the DA?

8. Discuss why Baden believes how someone dies is a reflection of how they live.

9. Explain why Baden believes coroners are often in trouble as a result of their positions.

10. Explain Baden's experience of the convergence of hospital medicine and the morgue, and why the event had an impact on him.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss each of the following forms of identification of remains in detail. Be sure to mention how the process is done, and any limitations mentioned in the book in terms of their reliability and effectiveness. Use examples from the book, where possible, to show how the method is used.

• Familial identification

• Dental identification

• Bone identification

• Scar identification

• Fingerprinting

• Personal effects identification

Essay Topic 2

The novel discusses three clear methods to detect time of death, those of rigor mortis, livor mortis, and algor mortis.

Part 1) List each method, and discuss, in detail, how that method helps determine the time of death.

Part 2) Compare and contrast the three methods. How are they the same? How are they different?

Part 3) Which is the best method of detection? Why? What are the limitations of this method?

Essay Topic 3

Explain the mistakes that led to the original conviction of Claus von Bulow. From what did the EMTs who delivered Sunny, his wife, believe she was suffering ? What caused the hospital staff to disagree? What mistake did they make as a result? Following their assumptions, what mistakes did the lab make in testing Sunny's samples? Why did this lead to false information? What assumptions were made about the insulin needle? What turned out to be the truth? What does this say about the importance of proper procedures in this position?

(see the answer keys)

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